Restaurant Review: The Table
The Table has an interesting vibe to it. With a collection of mismatched tables and chairs (either primitive or painted in a turquoise hue) and a big open cooking space for the culinary staff, it really does achieve that experience of eating in somebody’s kitchen somewhere.
It’s not just like home, though. The Table is a bit too artisanal for that. It’s like sitting in some chic stranger’s kitchen, and trying lots of interesting things.
Which is probably the point.
The Short North stop is open for the morning crowd with fresh-brewed coffee and edibles such as muffins, scones and quiche. The muffins are decently priced ($3), large and quite good. Although Chocolate Chip is a pretty universal offering, The Table’s are exemplary with a plentiful supply of big, intense chocolate chips stuffed throughout the muffin, and a lid that is encrusted with coarse sugar.
The formal menu features sections that permit several different dining experiences.
A salad seems like a sensible starting point. The Arugula and Potato Gribiche ($12) is a modestly sized mixture that packs lots of interest. A feathery nest of dressed arugula plays host to teeny multicolored potato halves, and tender cooked green beans that mingle with long strands of soft roasted poblano peppers. There are a few little dices of egg white dancing around there too. It’s a salad worth finishing off.
Alternately, there is soup ($4). Soup is, generally speaking, one of the best things to happen to squash and it’s a good choice at The Table too.
For the small plate crew, there is a Squash Ravioli that holiday pie fans will surely adore. The insides of the big pockets taste sweet like a pumpkin pie. The ravioli are topped with a novel kale pesto. It’s less rich than regular pesto, and has an almost middle-eastern accent to it.
And yes, there are full-on entrees. Mac and Cheese ($10) is always hard to resist. At The Table, it’s been fancified, but it still miraculously retains all the things that are likable about the original comfort food. The entree is a collection of sturdy little caplets that comprise a 50/50 mix with exotic mushrooms –the pasta and mushroom shapes mimic each other. There’s a significant amount of Kale in the blend too: the cooked leaves are always encrusted in cheese, which is a big win in the vegetable department.
And if you just want a Hamburger ($12): more power to you. It’s on the menu at The Table, in a fairly classic form: beef, pickled onions, bacon, cheddar – a really good, flavorful cheddar. It’s served with a little side salad.
For those who like the charcuterie trend, the restaurant has a manageable selection of meat and cheese options that might include chicken liver mouse, blood sausage and cheeses with long descriptions of their heritage.
You can find The Table at 21 E. Fifth. The restaurant is closed on Mondays, but open Tuesdays through Thursdays from 8am until 10pm. Friday’s hours are 8am until 11pm. On weekends, The Table opens at 10am and closes at 11pm on Saturdays and 10pm on Sundays.
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/TheTable.ForkResponsibly.
Photos by Mollie Lyman of www.fornixphotography.com.